No one wants a kitchen filled with stuff! No dream kitchen is a cluttered one. Yet somehow we all seem to create just that. From Tupperware to extra utensils, expired condiments to chipped dishes, Americans seem to stock the kitchen more than any other culture on Earth. There is something so refreshing about a clean, uncluttered kitchen though. It promotes opportunity and possibility. It saves time and allows for cleanliness. The kitchen is the heart of the home!
We tend to amass kitchen clutter because of one (or all) of the following:
- The kitchen is a high-traffic area and sees a lot of in and out
- The purpose of the room itself is almost synonymous with mess
- The kitchen is a collection area for 'this and that' stuff.
In thinking about your current kitchen, what kind of clutter immediately comes to mind? Do you have the worlds largest Cool-Whip and Country Crock tub collection? Are you attracted to shiny gadgets? Do you gravitate towards specific tools like coffee frothers, Nutri-bullets, and breakfast sandwich makers? Do you have duplicates of things? Do you keep hardback recipe books in the hopes that one day you'll actually make that old-fashioned Waldorf Salad?
If those are the case, you are at a great place to start the de-clutter. A tiny house kitchen simply can't hold all of that so it is best to downsize before moving in!
Set Your Kitchen Goals
What do you want your kitchen to accomplish? Is it for cooking purposes so that you can live a tasty and healthy life without a lot of fuss? Is it to create a gathering spot or comfort zone for friends and family to gather? Be clear about your goals. Your goals become your guidelines in "designing" your new kitchen space. Minimizing in the kitchen isn't about setting limits on yourself. It is about augmenting the things that make you enjoy and excel in your kitchen.
Clear The Clutter
This can be and should be a multiple-hour process and one that takes a number of steps. In fact, start with taking everything off the countertops. Give yourself an immediate, visual change. Make that your encouraging goal. Now go through and remove anything that doesn't belong in the kitchen. Does your silverware drawer also house multiple screwdrivers? Are there a pair of garden gloves and some wildflower seeds lying about? Remove them and put them away where they belong. Once you have pared down to just kitchen items focus on your drawers and cabinets.
The size of a cabinet should serve as a guideline. It should not become a game of how much can I get in and how can I work the angles of the box? It should be "this is how much room I have to use and anything that can't fit goes down the road". Use the natural boundaries of your storage.
From there you will want to remove duplicates and little used items. Start by holding up the item and asking "where did this come from and why do I have it?" Then move on to "Do I need it?" If you have a pasta drying rack that you don't remember buying and you haven't ever made homemade pasta, pass the rack on. Only keep your favorites and what you actually us.
Take Everything Home
Create a silverware and utensil drawer. Reserve your open shelves or cabinets for dishware and pots/pans. Use your closet and/or pantry for non-perishable food and little-used appliances.
Refill The Counter
Your countertop has to serve a purpose. While it is cleaned off now, restock it with necessity. Put the coffee maker back on it. Add the spice rack. Set up your knife block. But only add things that you need regularly, frequently, and while you are cooking. Leave room for food prep and actual cooking!
Purge Your Pantry
Unless you are a doomsday prepper you probably don't need an entire flat of french style green bean cans sitting at the foot of your pantry. To purge try the following:
- Group items by kind
- Remove what doesn't belong in the pantry
- Clean thoroughly with a broom, mop, all-purpose cleaner, etc
- Get rid of old or expired foods
- Consider bulk storage in clear containers
When you spend less time caring for your kitchen you have more time to care for yourself, your family, and your dietary needs. A tiny house is not a place for a commercial kitchen and if you try to shove it all in you will end up creating a chaotic space filled with frustration and junk!
Have you ever downsized your kitchen in order to make it more minimal or more functional for a tiny house? What were some steps you took? Did you meet your goals? Let us know in the comments below. Also, be sure to LIKE us on Facebook and follow us on Instagram!